Why Minnesota's coronavirus response is different

The north paves its own path

Minnesota.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock, Library of Congress)

On Wednesday afternoon, my family gathered in our living room to hear Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announce the next phase in our state's response to the novel coronavirus. Walz has issued nearly two dozen executive orders pertaining to COVID-19, but this was the big one: a state-wide stay-at-home order running from March 27 through April 10.

I will grant from the outset that Minnesota, as a state, is a little self-obsessed. (Woe betide the coastal journalist who runs afoul of us.) So perhaps there is some of that Minnesota bias in play when I say: The plan Walz outlined is unique — in a good a way. Of course, it inevitably has a lot in common with what other states are doing. Recommendations of social distancing, for example, are universal. But there are ways the Minnesota proposal is different, and in these uncharted waters, they're worth a closer look.

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